Yes, the standardized deduction has changed. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has basically doubled the standard deduction — currently set at $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing a joint return. This increase makes it much more favorable for taxpayers to file their tax returns using the standardized deduction as opposed to itemized deductions.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes just about every financial transaction. There are some exceptions, often justified by the fact that encouraging taxpayers to partake in the excepted activity is in the country’s best interest. One example: saving for retirement.